Liverpool have joined the race for Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moisés Caicedo. Widespread reports suggest that the Reds have made initial contact with the south coast club and are exploring a deal for the 21-year-old.
However, The Athletic's James Pearce has downplayed the rumours, suggesting that the club has "made contact [sic] with Brighton" but is "yet to make an offer”.
Understand #LFC have made contract with Brighton over Caicedo but yet to make an offer.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) August 10, 2023
A £100-million valuation
Throughout the summer, Chelsea have been leading the race to secure the signature of the 21-year-old Ecuadorian, who had also been linked to Arsenal prior to their signing of Declan Rice from West Ham.
According to reports in the Daily Mail, Chelsea's latest bid - their fourth - was worth £75 million plus an extra £5 million in add-ons.
However, having already lost Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool this summer, the Seagulls are said to be holding out for around £100 million for the centre midfielder and have turned down multiple offers from the West London side.
This has been despite the player making it clear that he wished to head to Stamford Bridge as part of Mauricio Pochettino's rebuild.
Links to the Lavia deal
Although Liverpool have held a long-standing interest in Caicedo, who has made just 45 Premier League appearances, it's perhaps interesting that the club has chosen this week to formally express its interest - just as Chelsea made a £48-million offer for long-time Reds target Roméo Lavia of Southampton.
With Liverpool having three bids - the latest £46 million, including add-ons - rejected, perhaps now the two clubs who face each other this Sunday have switched targets in the pursuit of what they feel would offer a greater return on investment in their particular circumstances.
Understand Liverpool have outbid Chelsea for Moises Caicedo which would also help explain Chelsea’s bid for Lavia. Suggestion however remains that Caicedo would prefer Chelsea move. More to follow #cfc #lfc
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) August 10, 2023
That said, the Guardian claims that Caicedo remains Mauricio Pochettino's top midfield target this summer. And with Caicedo seemingly set on a move to London, this game of cat and mouse could also be a negotiating tactic from both sides to extract maximum value.